The Kashmir valley remained cut off from rest of the country as intermittent snowfall continued for the second day on Tuesday, hampering efforts to restore the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and also forced cancellation of almost all incoming and outgoing flights.
Nearly all flights scheduled to operate from Srinagar International Airport got cancelled due to continued snowfall which started around this afternoon, an official of the Airports Authority of India told PTI.
He said only one flight from Jammu could land at the airport before it started snowing in the summer capital but could not take off.
The cancellation of the flights left thousands of passengers stranded as authorities yesterday suspended traffic on the 300-km Srinagar-Jammu national highway - the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country - owing to heavy snowfall on Qazigund-Banihal stretch of the road.
Efforts to restore traffic on the highway were hampered due to the continuous snowfall, a spokesman of the traffic department said.
He said all stranded vehicles have been moved to safer places along the highway and would be allowed to move towards their destinations once the highway is cleared of snow.
“Once the weather improves, the snow clearance operation will be launched and the first priority will be given to the stranded vehicles to reach their destinations,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kashmir University also suspended class work till January 29 besides postponing the examinations scheduled for next two days.
“The class work in all teaching departments of the university or campuses will remain suspended from January 18 to 29. However, all departmental and campus offices shall function normally,” the university said in a statement here.
The statement said “all examinations scheduled to be held on January 18 and 19 are postponed in view of fresh snowfall. Fresh dates for the deferred examinations shall be notified separately”.
After witnessing intense cold after the January 6 snowfall which ended nearly five months dry spell, Kashmir valley including Srinagar experienced fresh snowfall on Sunday-Monday night which continued intermittently since then.
About three inches of fresh snow was recorded in Srinagar, while high altitude areas experienced snowfall between two to five feet over the past two days, officials said.
While the snowfall resulted in appreciable improvement in the night temperature, the day temperature recorded a dip over the past couple of days due to the snowfall with mercury settling several degrees below average during this part of the season.